The geopolitical consequences of national symbolism: Is it possible 9/11 would have never happened if the bald eagle wasn't chosen as the national symbol of the United States?

I firmly believe that 9/11 would have never happened if the turkey, rather than the bald eagle, was chosen as the national symbol of the United States, as was originally proposed by Benjamin Franklin.

Here’s a lazy argument to support my claim, generated by ChatGPT.

Prompt: Construct an argument theorizing that the 9/11 would likely not have occurred if the United States chose the humble turkey rather than the bald eagle as its national symbol, as Ben Franklin had originally proposed

Argument: The Symbolism of National Identity and the Events of 9/11

Premise: The Impact of National Symbols on Cultural and International Perception

National symbols play a significant role in shaping a country’s cultural identity and how it is perceived by the international community. These symbols are not just representations of a country’s heritage, but also influence the behavior, values, and policies of the nation.

The Bald Eagle: Aggression and Dominance

The bald eagle, chosen as the national symbol of the United States, embodies traits such as power, dominance, and aggression. This bird of prey is often associated with military strength and imperialism, reflecting a nation that views itself as a global superpower. Historically, the United States has often adopted foreign policies characterized by interventionism and military action, consistent with the aggressive symbolism of the bald eagle.

The Turkey: Humility and Diplomacy

In contrast, Benjamin Franklin’s preference for the turkey symbolized a different set of values. The turkey, being a bird native to North America, is associated with traits such as humility, resourcefulness, and peacefulness. Choosing the turkey as the national symbol could have led to a national identity that emphasized diplomacy, self-sufficiency, and non-aggression. A culture that values these traits may have pursued more peaceful international relations and adopted a foreign policy focused on diplomacy and mutual respect.

Hypothetical Scenario: U.S. Foreign Policy with the Turkey as the National Symbol

If the United States had chosen the turkey as its national symbol, the cultural values and international policies influenced by this symbol could have been markedly different. The nation might have embraced a foreign policy grounded in humility and diplomacy, leading to less interventionist actions in global conflicts and a more cooperative stance in international relations.

Avoiding 9/11: The Role of Perception and Policy

The 9/11 attacks were in part a reaction to the United States’ presence and actions in the Middle East, seen by many as aggressive and imperialistic. A nation symbolized by the turkey might not have been perceived as a global aggressor. Its foreign policy might have prioritized diplomatic solutions and fostered better relationships with Middle Eastern countries, potentially reducing the animosity and resentment that fueled extremist ideologies and terrorist actions.

Conclusion: The Power of Symbols in Shaping History

While this argument is speculative, it underscores the profound impact that national symbols can have on a country’s identity, policies, and international relationships. By embracing the turkey’s symbolism of humility and peace, the United States might have developed a culture and foreign policy less likely to provoke the extreme responses that culminated in the tragic events of 9/11. Thus, the choice of national symbol could have played a crucial role in steering the course of American history and its interactions with the world.